NEW DELHI: The Centre said on Tuesday that the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases was mainly because of lack of support from the wider community in certain areas, coupled with delay in reporting of cases, even as it responded to the Nizamuddin situation by saying that this was not the time for finding fault and the country needed to work together to find a solution.
Around 227 new cases and three deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. One death each was reported from Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said. India has reported a total of over 1,250 confirmed cases and 32 deaths so far.
Sharing the case numbers, Agarwal reiterated that full implementation of the lockdown and social distancing measures were essential to break the chain of transmission, and urged people to follow the prescribed guidelines and protocols. “Even if one person fails to comply, we will be back to stage zero,” he said.
Responding to questions on models showing a range of cases, Agarwal said none of these took into account India’s decision to enter a 21-day lockdown. “When this was a surprise decision, how can models predict numbers,” he asked.
Elaborating on identification of hotspots, the ministry said that any place with even a single case was treated as a hotspot because it was dealing with an infectious disease. However, when any particular area witnessed a large number of cases, the government’s intervention and containment strategy was scaled up accordingly. Agarwal was responding to questions on how many hotspots were being monitored. He said that there might be a lag in reporting numbers but not by much. The ministry’s focus was on acting quickly to zero in on new cases and take up contact tracing, he added.
The government was using cluster-containment strategies and doing rigorous contact tracing in these hotspots to check the virus from spreading, he said. “The situation is very dynamic. A success story today can become a hotspot tomorrow. Since we are dealing with infectious disease management, a single case can develop into a hotspot,” Agarwal said.
The ministry maintained that prevention, containment and management of Covid-19 was being monitored at the highest level and various actions had been initiated in collaboration with states.
Meanwhile, a group of ministers headed by health minister Harsh Vardhan met on Tuesday and reviewed various issues related to implementation of the lockdown, the issue of migrant labourers, containment measures in emerging hotspots and ensuring adequacy of essential items such as personal protective equipment, masks, ventilators, etc.